This morning after we came back from getting our licenses we went to Barnie's which is right across the street from us. It's like a nicer, cheaper, more neighborhood-y Starbucks type coffee house. We each got some chai and a filled pretzel (Matt got apple cinnamon and I got spinach-feta - both were yummy!). We sat in the courtyard (which had a lovely view of our apartment, lol) and it was very nice. Then we took a grand walk around town! This time we went to the "New Homes Center" which is a showcase place sponsored by some of the new home builders in Celebration (Celebration isn't completed yet - more and more houses are still being built). They have "Model Homes" set up throughout town and we picked up a map of them and checked them all out - it was incredible!
Click below to hear me ramble on about houses.
There are different types of homes in Celebration: Terrace Homes (like Condos) start in the $170,000s (prices are for new homes - previously lived in homes vary more in price), Bungalow Homes (single family detached homes) start in the $190,000s, Townhomes (huge three story attached row houses) start in the $200,000s, Garden Homes (larger single family homes, with larger lots or even pools) start in the lower $200,000s - $300,000s, Cottage Homes (much larger single family homes) start in the $300,000s-$400,000s, Village Homes (which are HUGE HUGE HUGE and often have courtyards, pools, hot tubs, etc.) which start around $600,000! There are also the gargantuan "Estate" homes which are enormous homes begin at $700,000 and go up into the multi-million dollar range. There weren't any Estate homes open to the public - you have to make appointments to wander around through them! =P
So we walked around and toured the different sorts of homes. They are all incredibly beautiful, with different building themes - Mediterranean, Victorian (absolutely gorgeous), French, Classical, Colonial, etc. All of them have some sort of porch, which is important to me (one of my major complaints about new houses is that they never have porches!). The model homes were all very elegantly appointed, with lush furnishings and beautiful decor - lovely! Matt and I are going to try to buy a house in 2 or 3 years - we most likely would not buy one of the new homes (well, actually ALL homes in Celebration are "new" since they've all been pretty much built after 1996!), we'd get one second hand (there's quite a selection of previously owned homes at any given time - they all look brand new anyways). Being first time home buyers, I think we would either go for a Bungalow or a smaller Garden Home. Both of the Garden and Bungalow model homes were awesome - either one would be perfect for us. The townhomes and terrace homes are very nice too, but after years of apartment dwelling I think it might be nice to have a detached home, with a little yard and such. All the appliances and the kitchens and everything are so modern - but from the outside the houses look like incredibly restored antique homes (especially the Victorian and Greek Revival types). They all have at least 3 bedrooms too - a bedroom for us, a guest room and an art room! I love how all of the houses featured master suites (or "Owner's Retreats" as they referred to them). The Master Bedrooms (all huge) had enormous bathrooms with vanities, sunken tubs an walk-in showers. Off of the bathrooms were always enormous walk in closets. In the "Village" sized homes the master bathroom area was literally larger than our last apartment! It's unbelievable! Even after drooling over the huge Village homes, we were still impressed by the Bungalow and Garden homes - they had most of the same features, just more compact. Hmm... $200,000... now, I just need 170 people to commission a bunch of my 36"x48" paintings and I'm set! Lol =) Well, if I save up for a few years and we live frugally (as frugally as we are comfortable with at least, hehe), I should save up enough to put a hefty down payment down, and we wouldn't need to get as big of a loan.
Anyways - in the meantime I'm just going to save my money and enjoy my new apartment!